July 25, 2006

AFT Peace & Justice Caucus Action

From the AFT Convention.....

On Sunday, at its biannual convention in Boston, the American Federation of Teachers declared that it opposes the war in Iraq, calls upon the US for withdrawal of troops and military bases in "a rapid and timely manner," and directs the AFT to urge its local and state affiliates to work with AFT and AFL-CIO in working to bring the troops home rapidly. The actual resolution follows below.It should be noted that the resolution also includes the resolution that passed the AFL-CIO last summer, with all its outdatedness and weaknesses, but members of the newly formed AFT Peace and Justice Caucus were glad that we finally got the membership to agree that we OPPOSED THE WAR!Unfortunately, some pretty awful resolutions got passed as well, and I will report on that soon (as well as the exciting activities of the Caucus and its future plans). These included a resolution supporting Israel in its attacks on Lebanon (???????), which we believe will marginalize AFT, and another resolution in support of Chinese workers, which for the most part is good, but has some red-baiting in it, and fails to also condemn the US government and the multi-national corporations for their role in the exploitation of those same workers, due to its neoliberal policies.

Submitted by Andy Griggs

Amended Resolution 31: US Policy in Iraq
(as passed by the AFT Convention)

(bold type indicates language inserted by members of AFT Peace and Justice Caucus in the International Relations Committee, after narrowly losing an effort to substitute language calling for immediate withdrawal)

WHEREAS, AFT has always supported American troops in combat; and

WHEREAS, we have now lost more than 2,500 brave Americans in Iraq to date, and Iraqi civilian dead and wounded number over 100,000;

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers oppose the war in Iraq, and call upon our country's leaders to withdraw all troops, bases, and operations in a rapid and timely manner and to put a stop to the unending military presence that will waste lives and resources, undermine our nation's security and weaken our military; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT support AFL-CIO Resolution 53, below, on the war in Iraq; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT actively encourage its state and local affiliates to join AFT in working with the AFL-CIO to end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home rapidly.

Well it is just too bad that our national organization is still too squemish to get involved in an issue that is killing OUR STUDENTS.

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